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Rianne driven to achieve

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Rianne Malixi isn’t letting the pandemic get in the way as she pursues her goal to get better, stronger when her next mission comes along.
Sure, the recent postponement of the National Stroke Play Championship, where she is the defending champion, stymied her plans but the young shotmaker remains driven to go to the next level even in these uncertain times.

“The pandemic will never affect my motivation to get better. Though my plans were disrupted again, it gave me time to fine tune my swing at home,” said Malixi. “I also hope to get stronger through my workouts, so I am confident to cope well and be competitive.”

Like when the global health crisis first disrupted amateur play on the local front in 2020, Malixi is looking forward to competing and enhancing her talent and skills abroad, including on the AJGA (American Junior Golf Association), which will kick off the new season this week in Florida.

The 14-year-old rising star is expected to defend her crown in the Se Ri Pak Desert Classic in June.

Malixi is also preparing for the US Girls’ Junior and the US Women’s Amateur slated July 18-24 in Kentucky Aug. 8-14 in Washington, respectively. She reached the match play phase in both tournaments, including the Round of 16 in the US Women’s Amateur.

By then, she expects to improve big-time, including on the mental side, a key factor to winning big-time golf championships.

“My mental game has improved a lot the last two years, especially when I played in so many tournaments abroad,” said Malixi, who also saw action last year in the PXG Women’s Match Play, a pro event, also in Florida, and in the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific in Abu Dhabi and finished No. 10 in the AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions.

She spiked her 2021 season with a victory in a local pro tournament in near record-breaking fashion.

During the extended break, the ICTSI-backed Malixi is working out on her length on the range while polishing her iron game.

“I gained at least 20 yards with my driver and my short game has quite improved,” said Malixi, who vowed to go for more distance while underlining the need for consistency and accuracy with her irons and putting.

“My goal this year is to hit a minimum of 10 yards longer, hit an average of 15 greens, and make 100 percent up-and-downs and an average of less than 30 putts,” she said.

Not quite a heavy task for a young but resolute (golfing) prodigy.

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